Students planning to enroll in General Chemistry (CHEM 161) this fall are encouraged to attend the first ever Chemistry Boot Camp on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11.
Organized and led by chemistry professor Karen Goodwin, the free one day science “basic training” camp will run students through chemistry skills and drills, covering material at a quick pace but in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. Goodwin and fellow chemistry professor Dr. Ruby Nagelkerke will teach mini-lessons, then students will break into smaller groups to play review games to reinforce those skills. A free pizza lunch will be served.
To register for Chemistry Boot Camp, call 360-736-9391, ext. 794 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. The boot camp is free and students who complete the program may be eligible for free textbooks. All participants will get free lab goggles and a periodic table pen.
Goodwin developed the boot camp to give students a realistic “taste of what college chemistry will be like.” She wanted to help students make an informed decision about which level of chemistry they should enroll in to be the most successful. Students who understand what CHEM 161 requires can decide to stay in the class or to switch to the introductory course, CHEM 121, before school begins. Knowing their best level ahead of time can potentially save students hundreds of dollars in tuition and time.
However, the most valuable savings, according to Goodwin, will be in students’ self-esteem. Struggling in a course can do a lot of damage emotionally. Goodwin wants to change that.
In addition, the chemistry professor hopes that meeting students in a more relaxed atmosphere will help them be more comfortable asking for help once the course begins. Working in small groups during the boot camp will also enable students to interact with each other and build positive relationships with their classmates—something that is harder to do in the large lecture hall.
The Chemistry Boot Camp is the first of its kind at Centralia College. For her innovative idea to increase student success in chemistry, Karen Goodwin was recently awarded one of two Hanke Faculty Achievement Awards.